Shark attack death rocks surfing
The surfing world has been shocked to learn the victim of a shark attack in Maui has died.
The attack happened on Wednesday (Tuesday, Hawaii time) and as a result, Aussie stars Tyler Wright and Sally Fitzgibbons had their semi-final at the Roxy Pro postponed as action was called off for the day.
The World Surf League (WSL) confirmed on Thursday the tragic news the victim of the shark attack had died.
"The WSL has learned that Tuesday's victim of the shark attack at Honolua Bay has tragically passed away," surfing's governing body said.
"Our thoughts and hearts are with the victim's family and friends as well as the entire Maui surfing community."
According to local media, the victim is a man in his 50s who was attacked in Honolua Bay after paddling out for a morning surf. A large chunk of his board was reportedly ripped off in the attack.
The Maui Pro has been put on hold and will no longer take place at Honolua Bay, the WSL revealing it is looking at alternate locations to complete the event after consulting with surfers and local authorities.
Before the shark attack tragedy, Wright had earned her way into the semi-final of the Roxy Pro after scoring a perfect 10 in the first quarter-final heat against fellow Aussies and seven-time world champ Steph Gilmore.
After two years off due to illness, Wright, 26, only returned to surfing last year and is already showing the skill that won her two world titles.
Wright has also taken to the surf wearing a specially designed jersey that included a Pride flag and Australian flag stitched into the rash vest.
Before the event Wright, who came out as bisexual last year, made a heartfelt post on Instagram declaring her reasons for making the flag statement.
"Today for me feels like another step in my realisation of my true and authentic self," she wrote.
"As a proud bisexual woman of the LGBTQ+ community as well as an Australian, I'm delighted to be able to represent both this year on my competition jersey."
Originally published as Shark attack death rocks surfing